Josh Duggar asked a judge for a new trial in a motion that tried to blame a former employee for the child sexual abuse material found on his computer

·4 min read
Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar in seen in his booking photo after being convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.Washington County, Arkansas
  • Josh Duggar, who was convicted of downloading and possessing child pornography, has requested a new trial.

  • His attorneys filed a motion on Wednesday requesting that their client be acquitted.

  • They sought to pin blame on an ex-employee of Duggar's, and accused prosecutors of not providing "exculpatory evidence" on time.

Josh Duggar, the former reality-TV star convicted last month on child pornography charges, has requested a new trial and sought to blame a former employee for the illicit videos and photos found on his work computer.

Duggar's attorneys filed a motion Wednesday evening asking the court to acquit Duggar of downloading and possessing child pornography, and complaining that their client was unfairly prevented from calling a "necessary witness" during the seven-day trial.

That witness was a person who had worked at Duggar's used car lot in Springdale, Arkansas, the location where federal authorities found a desktop computer that had been used to download numerous videos and photos of child sexual abuse.

Duggar's attorneys said in their motion that the former employee — who was also a registered sex offender — had "regularly used the desktop computer in the months and weeks leading up to May 2019."

The child sexual abuse imagery found on Duggar's computer had been downloaded on multiple occasions between May 14 and May 16, 2019.

Duggar's attorneys said that former employee, who had previously been interviewed by federal authorities and prosecutors, sent an "unsolicited email" to a prosecutor shortly before the trial. The email stated that the former employee had been "completely mistaken" when he told investigators he had not been at Duggar's used car lot, according to the motion.

The former employee said in his email that he had been in Arkansas between May 8 and May 11, 2019, days before Duggar's child pornography downloading activity, and that he did not recall whether he used Duggar's computer during his trip. The former employee also sent a number of text messages, travel information, and receipts showing his various travels that month, according to the motion.

While Duggar's attorneys acknowledged that the former employee hoped his email would "establish that he was not at the car lot on certain dates in question," they accused prosecutors of improperly concealing the email until three days before Duggar's trial started.

They alleged that the former employee sent another follow-up email after the trial started, which included the social media passwords of several other Duggar siblings. Duggar's team said this information would have helped them show the jury that multiple people had password access to various Duggar-related accounts.

"In this case, Duggar was deprived of materially exculpatory evidence until the evening before the Government rested its case," his attorneys wrote.

josh duggar
Josh Duggar speaks during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on February 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland.Kris Connor/Getty Images

Duggar, 33, has been incarcerated in the Washington County Jail since his December 9 conviction. He faces up to 40 years in prison, though no sentencing date has been set.

Much of Duggar's defense strategy revolved around the theory that Duggar was not the only person with access to the HP desktop inside his used car lot. During the trial, Duggar's attorneys emphasized that no child sexual abuse material was ever found on Duggar's personal devices, including his phone and laptop.

They also called a forensic investigator as a witness, who suggested Duggar had been the victim of a "hit and run" hacking scheme.

But the jury wasn't convinced. A number of law-enforcement officials and digital forensics experts testified about the various disturbing images and videos found on Duggar's computer and the measures they said he took to evade detection. For instance, witnesses testified that Duggar had taken complex steps like partitioning his work computer's hard drive so that he could dodge the anti-pornography "accountability" software that reported all of his internet activity to his wife.

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